Never-ending road construction. Non-stop traffic. Noise, crowds, congestion, litter (oh, the annoying litter)…and the seeming obsession to cut down trees. Truthfully, this is what comes to mind if I were asked to describe a drive through my county. I have said – way more often than has ever been necessary – that I do not live in the prettiest part of the country. I may or may not be guilty of complaining or whining not only about the traffic, construction and tree removal…but also of having to live here. (Even writing it, I am again convicted about my attitude and discontent, but that is for another post!)
Often, as I scroll through Instagram, I find myself dreaming of mountain views, wide-open spaces, or even acres of farmland and fields of corn out my back door! I’m pretty sure I would be a terrible farmer but a misty morning greeted by cute cow faces and a frolicking farm dog often seems magical to me:) Farmer or not, I find myself wanting to get out to the country – which I did yesterday with some friends. We drove to the mountains and picked apples at a local orchard. It was a wonderful day. Not a cow to be seen but wide-open spaces and mountain views for miles. Definitely a place to breathe! And my soul did breathe it all in. I could physically feel my body relax and my spirit refresh.
Here is the confession. Even as I was driving home, I found myself feeling frustrated and annoyed. The discontentment – the “I so need to live somewhere else” feeling – seems to chase me!! And, here is the truth. Literally next to my neighborhood – with its rows of houses and streets lined with too many cars – is a dairy farm. Rolling hills dotted with cows. Yes, cute cows:) They are in my backyard! Not literally but quite practically. And, honestly, often when I breathe on my porch, I am reminded they are there. But, I miss it.
My focus is on what I want to see. My discontentment is validated because I can easily find – and focus – on what I do not like. On the negative. Friend, the applications from that truth are endless. We can do the same in so many areas but this is a five-minute post (for FMF)…and I do not have the time to pinpoint every area. But I was challenged and convicted. Perhaps you will be as well. But spend today looking for the beauty, the sweetness, and God’s good gifts today. The ones that are right in your neighborhood – maybe right in front of you!! Don’t drive right by them, like me, but purposely notice them. Appreciate them. Even breathe deep and take it all in!!